Some people live their lives wandering and wondering, trying to find purpose and meaning from all they have experienced. I was one of those people. I had been seeking solace for my soul and help to overcome depression. From outward appearances, I had a great life, married, three children, a nice home. I was involved in several organizations, wrote and directed the local junior miss pageant, was president of the local PTA, president of a local women’s organization, started a local girl’s club, not to mention the room mother position at the school where my children attended. All of these filled my days with busy activity, so I didn’t have to face the emotional pain and disappointment I was trying to suppress. Something was missing and I knew I had to find it.
The robotic life I walked in, kept me up and moving, but the grinding halt of its demise left me empty, hopeless, and reeling from the emotional pain I had been trying to ignore.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? You sit empty, staring at the ceiling, wondering what to do next. I began to realize that my soul was overloaded with things I had stuffed and never processed, never talked about, never brought out into the light to be owned and properly addressed. I had spent my life trying to please those around me, trying to earn their love by overdoing, overachieving, overreaching confining boundaries. I was trying to escape from the prison of pain I did not want to admit or own.
The grinding halt of the robotic life left me as a deflated, limp, immobile shell of a person. Who am I and what am I doing here? I remember the day it happened. All the plates I had spinning in the air suddenly came crashing down around me. Once again, I had tried to take on more than my emotions could handle, but this time, I could not recover. I escaped to one of the bathrooms in our house, stood against the wall, slid to the floor, and cried out to the Lord for help. “I can’t do this anymore! Help me or I will not be able to pull myself together!” My emotions finally opened up and my pent-up tears fell like torrential rain all around me.
This was the beginning of the end of what I had been running from. Later that day, I found my Bible. I opened it and read these words, ““This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift!” Isaiah 30:15-16 NIV
What I had been running from, I now had to turn and face! When I was a little girl, probably around three years old, I was terrified of a three-legged dog that would come into our yard when I was outside playing. Every time I saw it, I would run screaming toward the house. “You have to face that dog. It represents everything you have been running from. You have to face your fears and quit running from them. I’m going to turn you around, stand with you, and we will face them together.” I knew these inner thoughts weren’t me. I knew Jesus was talking to me and offering to walk with me into healing.
The pain began to come out as I journaled about my life. The Lord calls us vessels, containers. We contain whatever has happened to us; we live our lives carrying our history, good or bad, joyous or traumatic inside the container we live in. If it is toxic or has damaged our soul, it has to come out in some way to be processed in order for healing to come. Some people go to counseling, some talk to friends, I began to journal it, writing letters to God. It poured out of me like toxic waste, filling journal after journal with my unprocessed pain.
I couldn’t go through the motions anymore. Jesus turned me inside out. Yes, this was years ago. Today I am a whole, healthy, happy person. It’s impossible to stuff ourselves full of unprocessed pain and emotion and stay healthy. Jesus is the answer.